Joey Carbery named on Munster bench for trip to Cardiff
Carbery could make first appearance in 14 months as van Graan makes six changes
Munster’s Joey Carbery during training ahead of the Pro14 meeting with Cardiff. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho
Pro14: Cardiff Blues v Munster
Kick-off: 8pm, Friday. Venue: Cardiff Arms Park. On TV: Live on Eir Sport and TG4.
Joey Carbery is set to return to rugby for the first time since January 2020 after he was named on the replacements bench for Munster’s Pro14 meeting with Cardiff on Friday.
The 25-year-old has been dogged by complications with an injured ankle initially sustained in the World Cup warm-up match against Italy at the Aviva Stadium in August 2019, although he did travel to Japan where he appeared in three matches off the bench, the last of them in the quarter-final defeat by the All Blacks.
Since then Carbery has played just two matches for Munster, in the derbies against Leinster and Ulster over the 2019-20 festive period. His last outing was against Ulster on January 3rd 2020.
In the starting lineup Johann van Graan makes six changes to the team that beat Edinburgh last time out.
The opening try scorer in Murrayfield last weekend, Jack O’Donoghue captains the side for Friday night’s encounter as he and Chris Cloete are joined by Jack O’Sullivan in the backrow.
Fineen Wycherley scrums down next to Jean Kleyn in the engine room with Kevin O’Byrne stepping into the frontrow in between James Cronin and John Ryan.
Shane Daly returns from Ireland camp to retain his position on the left wing with Calvin Nash named on the opposite flank as Mike Haley completes the back three at fullback.
The centre partnership sees Rory Scannell lining up next to Damian de Allende and Nick McCarthy joins JJ Hanrahan in the halfback pairing.
If he is brought on from the bench Billy Holland will move ahead of Ronan O’Gara for all-time Munster appearances and become the second most capped player for the province for his 241st appearance in red.
Munster: Mike Haley; Calvin Nash, Rory Scannell, Damian de Allende, Shane Daly; JJ Hanrahan, Nick McCarthy; James Cronin, Kevin O’Byrne, John Ryan; Jean Kleyn, Fineen Wycherley; Jack O’Donoghue (C), Chris Cloete, Jack O’Sullivan.
Replacements: Niall Scannell, Liam O’Connor, Roman Salanoa, Billy Holland, Gavin Coombes, Paddy Patterson, Joey Carbery, Darren Sweetnam.